Monday, January 20, 2020

Divrei Torah

We All Have Starring Roles

This past week I was blessed to be able to visit Eretz Yisrael. I went to Kever Rochel and then davened at the Me’aras Hamachpela (Tomb of the Patriarchs). I hadn’t been at the Me’aras Hamachpela in 20 years. It was a very moving experience. We then went back to Yerushalayim and davened Maariv at the Kotel! Davening by Mama Rochel,

The Decision

The birth of Moshe represents a turning point of the Jewish saga in Egypt. This would-be savior is arrived as the Jewish slaves are being mercilessly crushed by Egyptian oppression. Pharo had legislated that all Jewish infants be flung into the Nile river and delivered to their inevitable death; Egyptian discrimination had begotten slavery

Powerless People

The story of our people begins with resistance. Resistance against tyranny, resistance against injustice and perhaps most profoundly, resistance against allegations of inferiority.

Sefer Shemot begins by listing the sons of Yaakov, their fruitfulness in the Land of Egypt, and then without skipping a beat

Good Ga’avah

Last week we discussed the trait of ga’avah (haughtiness) as being a potential impediment to having achdut. The desire and feeling of being greater than another Jew can easily cause more than just a distance, and even possible discord. It can be difficult for someone with ga’avah to unify with other Jews since he is “above them.”

The Dirshu Siyum HaShas at Tel Aviv’s Yad Eliyahu

I waited for the moment when every seat in the gigantic arena at Yad Eliyahu would be full, knowing that the sight of thousands of bnei Torah celebrating the Siyum HaShas in loving achdus was not something you see every day. I wasn’t disappointed. Black and white in every section of the arena. Here and there, I could see

Genazym Auction: Where Gedolei Torah, Tzaddikim, Rebbes, Chachamim and Roshei Yeshivos Come Together

(Courtesy of Genazym) Q: Harav Chaim Vital, Maharam Banet, the Chasam Sofer, Harav Nosson Adler, Harav Akiva Eiger, Maharam Shik, Rav Eliyahu Gutmacher, Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch, the Tiferes Shlomo of Radomsk, the Rebbe of Ziditchov, the Chesed L’Avraham, the Rebbe of Radzymin, the Rebbe of Komarna, the Avnei Nezer, the Darkei

The Siyum HaShas, MetLife and Goshen

Each of the 52 sections or parshiyot of the Torah are separated from the previous section by an empty space of at least nine letters. There is only one exception to this policy—the beginning of parshat Vayechi—which is fused to the conclusion of parshat Vayigash without any intervening empty space. Rashi cites a midrash which views the

‘Do Not Bury Me in Egypt’

As Yaakov’s death approaches, he asks Yosef to promise to bury him in Israel where his father and grandfather are buried.

Notice the first words that Yaakov says: “…Do kindness and truth with me, please do not bury me in Egypt” (47:29).

What does Yaakov mean

Being Patient: Waiting For One’s Destiny

Reading through the various stories of the Tanach, one common theme we encounter is that patience is a virtue. Things do not happen as quickly or as exactly as we had expected. Even promises made by Hashem sometimes seem to take a very long time to come true or may even seem to go awry at first.

Unity, Caring and Moshiach

Klal Yisrael just celebrated the momentous occasion of the Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas, in which hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world gathered together to celebrate. In MetLife Stadium alone there were close to 100,000 Jews! Many there did not learn the daf each day but wanted to be part of something bigger than themselves and give

‘Know Shas’

The verse (Genesis 47:28) begins, “And Yaakov lived in Egypt for 17 years…” Is there more going on here? I would argue that Yaakov’s first 17 years were lived and enjoyed with Yosef, before Yosef got sold. Now Yaakov’s last 17 years take place in the same vicinity as Yosef. What symbolized their pleasure, their chiyut? Learning

Will Improving Ourselves Bring Achdut?

As Yaakov feels his end is near, he calls for his sons to gather around him so he can reveal to them the end of days. However, the forthcoming verses seem to mention nothing of that revelation, and Rashi in fact comments that indeed, although Yaakov wished to inform them about what would occur in the end of times, the Divine Presence left